Self Injurious Behavior

Cutting

As the name suggests, "cutting" involves cutting, scratching, piercing, etc. the skin to the point of bleeding. Individuals who cut themselves often feel intense shame about it.  It is often done repetitively; at times, to the point where some people describe the urge to cut as “addictive.”  Most frequently individuals cut parts of the body that are not typically exposed. It is important to understand that the vast majority of people who “cut” are notsuicidal. Rather, they use it as a coping skill to relieve the intense emotional pressure/pain they are feeling. The relief occurs because these individuals feel a surge of adrenaline after they cut which numbs their emotional pain and shifts their focus elsewhere.  While often done as a solitary activity when under stress, cutting also occurs in groups (particularly among adolescent/young adult women). 

Helpful Links

Cutting
This helpful article provides information about what cutting is, what factors might lead someone to cut, and steps to take to get help. This article is good for both people struggling with cutting and those who want to help them.

Resisting the Urge to Cut
This helpful article provides practical suggestions for how to resist the urge to cut or self-harm. While helpful to friends and family members concerned for a loved one who cuts, this article is particularly helpful for people struggling with the urge to cut themselves.

How Can I Help a Friend Who Cuts?
This article provides instruction and guidance related to helping a friend who cuts. It can help you to better understand your friend or family member and give you suggestions about how to best support them. 

Suicide Prevention

National Suicide Prevention Hotline
This hotline is for people experiencing a crisis who need to talk to someone. It is staffed by professional counselors 24/7/365. If you need help for yourself, a friend, or family member, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) right away.

The "Choking Game," "Passout Game," Etc.

In this high risk activity, an individual purposely cuts off the oxygen supply to his/her brain for a period of time. When done in groups, individuals do this to each other. Temporarily cutting off oxygen from the brain and then allowing blood to rush back to the brain creates a “rush” or “high” feeling. The majority of individuals who participate do not realize the seriousness of the activity and are naively involved because of the “fun” it provides or because of peer pressure. Unfortunately, those involved in this activity face great risk for brain damage, stroke, seizures, and even death. Risk of accidental strangulation is particularly high for individuals doing this activity alone while using ropes, cords, belts, etc. to induce the experience.

Helpful Links

The Choking Game  
This website provides information and helpful links for concerned adults and teens to help raise awareness of the dangers of the "Choking Game," "Passout Game," etc. 

Suicide Prevention

National Suicide Prevention Hotline
This hotline is for people experiencing a crisis who need to talk to someone. It is staffed by professional counselors 24/7/365. If you need help for yourself, a friend, or family member, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) right away.

 
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